Water conservation was also a top priority in order to protect the local watershed from further depletion and pollution. The two-acres of living roofs absorb and collect most of the rainwater runoff and the remainder is directed via the hardscaping and landscaping into the underground one-million gallon cistern. Water efficient plumbing fixtures and the use of rainwater reduce the campus’ potable water use by nearly 80 percent and eliminate all polluted rainwater runoff.
Recycled content materials and recycling efforts during construction also led to big payoffs for the campus. There was a concerted effort to source materials locally and hire contractors from the area to boost the local economy. “A sustainable campus was a natural result of the foundation’s overall philosophy, keeping in line with our values to be a good steward and be a positive addition to the neighborhood and the environment,” said Martha Choe, chief administrative officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We share this award with our many project partners – who all shared a common goal to build the right building for foundation staff to do their best work.”
Images ©Benjamin Benschneider, Timothy Hursley, Sean Airhart/NBBJ, Studio 216, Sellen Construction courtesy of NBBJ